Unilever partners with Jumbo, Agrifirm and Ardo for a regenerative agriculture project in the Netherlands; 30 hectares of agricultural land to be used in carrot cultivation

Sample article from our Agriculture Industry

July 8, 2024 (press release) –

Key Highlights:

* Unilever , Jumbo, Ardo , and Agrifirm are founding members of the Wortel Collective

* 30 hectares of agricultural land used for regenerative practices in carrot cultivation

* Carrots sown in April 2024 for Unox soups and Knorr meal packages

Original Press Release:

July 4 -- Unilever issued the following news release:

Unilever today announced that it is joining forces with Jumbo, Agrifirm and Ardo for a regenerative agriculture project in the Netherlands . Together, the four parties form 'Het Wortel Collectief', named after the first crop they focus on. With this special collaboration within the chain, they contribute to the transition to more sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices.

The first projects have started: regenerative practices are now being applied to carrot cultivation on around 30 hectares of agricultural land. The first carrots were sown in April 2024 , and from September they will be processed in various Unox soups and some of Knorr's meal packages. The previously sown carrots for Jumbo are now being harvested in full force and have been available in Jumbo stores since mid-June.

Because each piece of land and each farm has different characteristics, a unique approach is needed for each farm. Therefore, different regenerative practices are implemented on the different fields. Examples of these are:

* Non-inversion tillage, which involves not ploughing deeply and disturbing the soil as little as possible.

* Planting ground covers to prevent erosion and desiccation and to retain as many nutrients as possible in the soil.

* The use of organic fertilizers and biological crop protection products to nourish and protect the crops.

The ultimate goal of these activities is to strengthen soil health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water efficiency and quality, and promote biodiversity.

A Framework for Regenerative Agriculture

By applying regenerative agriculture, natural resources are strengthened instead of depleted. In this way, it aims to contribute to a healthier planet and a more resilient food system, so that crops remain available now and in the future. However, there is no clear, fixed definition of this form of agriculture. That is why the Wortel Collectief uses a framework that is aligned with the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) as a basis . The impact of the project is also measured using the indicators drawn up by the SAI platform. These indicators measure the impact on biodiversity, soil health, water use and climate.

Collaboration within the chain is necessary

The Carrot Collective consists of various chain partners. Via suppliers Agrifirm and Ardo , carrots eventually end up in various Unilever products, such as a number of Unox soups and Knorr meal packages, and the fresh carrots are in Jumbo stores. The four parties work together intensively and will contribute to the broader knowledge development about regenerative agriculture in the Netherlands in the coming years through the collaboration.

Implementing regenerative agriculture practices on 1 million hectares of land
The Wortel Collectief is Unilever's first regenerative agriculture project on Dutch soil. However, Unilever has been committed to regenerative agriculture projects worldwide for some time. Examples of this are the two regenerative agriculture projects in Europe : one focused on tomatoes in Spain and another on rice in Italy , the first impact results of which were shared at the end of 2023.

Unilever has been investing in a number of regenerative agricultural projects for some time now. Within the Wortel Collectief, we will learn a lot and exchange knowledge in the coming period. We will use this acquired knowledge to add and scale up projects in the coming years, in order to contribute to the transition to a future-proof food system.

Debora van der Zee , General Manager Nutrition Northern Europe at Unilever

These projects lay the foundation for extensive scaling of regenerative agriculture across Unilever’s supply chain. Unilever has set an ambition to implement regenerative agriculture practices on 1 million hectares of land by 2030.

Disclaimer: The Above Content is Auto-Translated

[Category: Food, Business Expansion]

Source: Unilever

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